Social Work 650

SOWK 650: Disability in Human Services: Policy, Theory and Practice

Prerequisites: Graduate Standing or permission of instructor

Credits: (3)

This elective course is designed to provide students with specific knowledge about clinical social work practice with people who have a diagnosed disability.  Key themes and concepts include: historical social work practice with people who are diagnosed with a disabling condition, theories of disability to include explanatory theory and a critique of those theories, and current issues/situations that affect people with a disabling condition.  

Detailed Description of Course

The course will cover: disability culture, theoretical approaches to disability, disability law, policy and civil rights, financial resources & health care resources for people with disabilities and models of multicultural practice with people who have disabilities.

Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

This course is primarily designed for completely online delivery and students should have access to the proper technology to access ADOBE connect (Breeze).  The course can also be adapted for in-class or hybrid delivery method.  A variety of instructional methods may be used in this course, such as interactive lectures, group discussion and activities, possible guest speakers, teaching videos, student presentations, professional papers, and experiential exercises.  Students are expected to actively participate in class sessions.  

Goals and Objectives of this Course

At the conclusion of this course, students will:

1. Be able to critically analyze the various definitions of disability
2. Apply the perspective of intersectionality to the dynamics of institutionalized discrimination of this population at risk
3. Be able to identify how disability has been socially constructed historically and how this impacts social and health policy and services.
4. Demonstrate awareness of key disability court cases and public policies, and the role of various stakeholder groups in the development of the seven major disability-related policies/programs
5. Develop basic practice skills to work with people with a range of disabilities, particularly children, the elderly, and veterans.
6. Develop self-awareness regarding possible biases in practice with this population

Assessment Measures

May include but are not limited to exams,  reflective papers, journals, presentations, group assignments, literature reviews, papers on social work theory, practice and ethics.

Other Course Information


Review and Approval

February 18, 2013